Monday, 11 August 2014

Tour of Fife day 4

I have run the "tortoise and hare" relay in these woods and a 5miler on the roads here as a previous ToF first day event. Today's race was a combination of the 2 and after all that complaining about hills I suppose I can't really complain about it being pancake flat. I hadn't managed to do my recovery massage with the magic stick so brought it along and Michael had a go as well. Bit like a foam roller but easier to get to all the fatigued leg muscles. Michael was very impressed. I have found it a very good tool for repairing tired legs especially if it's a 2 race weekend. Which this was, on the back of a three race week. I usually try to keep the stick for indoors use, as in a car park it might look like 2 guys rubbing themselves with a 22" dildo.

The woods here are really lovely to run in and I was disappointed that only the last k was on the hard pack trails here. Perhaps there is not enough mileage though and we might have ended up lapping the back markers and getting in a muddle.

MG practises ducking for the tape.

Since Friday took an age to travel across to Fife (an hour to get to the Bridge in rush hour traffic) we gave ourselves plenty of time and arrived early enough to survey the course. We drove the road section which was 2.5k then turn around a cone and head back to make 5k before heading into the woods for another k or so. Well that should be easy?

photo Gordon D

The road is long and straight which doesn't help. We set off and as the photo above shows the 2 top seeds (50 and 156) didn't run to the front. Instead Johnny from Hawks took the lead and, after a bit just behind him and foolishly thinking how easy it all felt, I pushed on. As we turned the corner and I felt the headwind I realised that leading might be a tactical error as you can't really push back in behind, out the wind. I was still feeling ok though and looking forward to the trails in the woods. Michael realising all this was going on, and knowing how I am not keen on head winds ran forward to keep me company and for a short, glorious time Porty had command of the race. I can't remember the moment it all turned to shit but it wasn't long after. The following photos are about the 5k turn off and most of the Dundee crew have gone past or are about to. And of course the 2 leaders who raced each other flat out all the way to the line.

photo Gordon

photo Gordon

It was a mild day and the humidity was misting up my lungs. I thought Steve and Billy looked tired on the start line and was hoping to exact revenge as both had whipped me on the up hill last night. I was wondering just how big a lead I would give them before showing them a thing or 2 as they disappeared ahead on the trails. I had nothing to answer them with and idly wondered how far down the leader board I would be slipping tonight. Was I just getting too old for this malarky? I certainly felt it. Michael, well he wasn't any more cheerful than I was, finishing a couple of places behind, Craig between us. My worst result was 10th place on the uphill - this 7th place was almost as bad as it was unexpected. Checking the Garmin we were not actually slacking: it says we did a 17½ min 5k. Then a wee uphill into the woods. The rest was slowly falling apart on the dirt trails and just trying to finish without hemorrhaging too much time. Curses. One upside was Keith P turned up again to walk his dog and take photos. He is definitely improving with the action photography! All the remaining photos are his.

Nothing to be done other than get a decent night's sleep and hope (yet again) that maybe tomorrow, the final race, will bring better luck for team Porty. It wasn't looking particularly good though. There was one thing I was enjoying however and that was seeing the same faces each day - if you like the people you are running with, it is a lot easier to accept the defeat.

1 comment:

  1. This was the worst one for me - like you I'm a downhiller but even uphill''s better than relentless flatness.